Marine Biology

, Volume 99, Issue 1, pp 111–118

The musselsMytilus galloprovincialis andM. trossulus on the Pacific coast of North America

  • J. H. McDonald
  • R. K. Koehn

DOI: 10.1007/BF00644984

Cite this article as:
McDonald, J.H. & Koehn, R.K. Mar. Biol. (1988) 99: 111. doi:10.1007/BF00644984


Most recent authors have called the bay mussels of the Pacific coast of North AmericaMytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758. Thirteen samples ofedulis-like mussels were collected from California, Oregon, and Alaska, USA, in 1985, 1986 and 1987. Electrophoretic evidence from wight loci indicates that these samples consist of two genetically distinct groups, neither of which is similar toM. edulis from the Atlantic Ocean. Mussels in southern California are very similar toM. galloprovincialis Lamarck, 1819 from the Mediterranean Sea; it is probable thatM. galloprovincialis was introduced accidentally to southern California. Mussels in Oregon and Alaska are similar to those from the Baltic Sea and parts of eastern Canada; the nameM. trossulus Gould, 1850 has priority for this taxon. In central and nothern California,M. galloprovincialis, M. trossulus and their hybrids co-occur. Despite the presence of hybrids betweenM. galloprovincialis andM. trossulus, the genetic integrity which they maintain across large areas of the world warrants their recognition as two distinct species.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. H. McDonald
    • 1
  • R. K. Koehn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ecology and EvolutionState University of New York at Stony BrookStony BrookUSA

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